My creative flow always pricks up its ears during a long journey. The sights and sounds and changing shifting landscape make me feel bold and declarative and full of strange new adjectives; I feel the need to create to urge to experiment.
Tiger’s the same way. I’m writing this in a notebook, which I purchased at the last rest stop. Tiger insisted upon picking up a notebook and pen, too, and he’s drawing as I’m writing.
I ask him, “Don’t the bumps make it hard to draw?”
“They actually make it easier, I think,” he replies, intent on sketching out a drawing of Charizod.
Not so me. My writing looks like hieroglyphics, spastic scrawls that barely resemble English. I hope I can read this later on. My hand tenses up, the tendons in my fingers complain over the repetitive physical exertion.
I ask Corb, “Can you driver flatter?”
Farm country in New York. Sheer farmland for hours and hours, broken up, for stretches, by city lights.
Collapsing abandoned farmhouses that reflect a life no longer lived.
Beams of light poke through billowing clouds like a sword through a stone.
Corb points out a village around Amsterdam, New York—isn’t that pretty, he asks?
I look to my right and my gaze focuses upon a tired store that has the words “FOWNES” lit up in bright red letters. But I’m not certain what he’s referring to.
“Show me what you’re looking at,” I say.
“That. The village.”
“Fownes,” I say.
He frowns. “You don’t care,” he says.
I grin. “No, no, I do. I just think it would be great to be lost in Fownes.”
Peeing at the rest stop. The next one won’t be for another 44 miles.
A row of men stand to the left and the right of me, hands around their cocks, streams of piss rising and falling, springing into full bloom then abruptly dribbling off like a dwindling faucet.
I never could do the peeing at the urinal goose step. Always felt too self-conscious. Could never get the motor running before “gentlemen you’re off sounded.” But something snapped in the mad dash out of the closet, and nowadays I feel no such hesitation or awkwardness. The dam has burst and the stream ushers forth with just a slip of the zipper and a gentle squeeze of the worm.
I picked up my new glasses today. The window that they’re allowing me to see through is slightly disorienting, at the moment—it’s been about a decade since my glasses have been up to 20/20.
I feel like a straw man looking at the world through a limited square of opportunity. The space around the edges seems obtuse, distorted, drunken.
I miss steps; figures loom into view from a vertiginous fog.
I hate this transition period.
We stop at the McDonalds before Exit 43 so Corb can take a rest. In front of me, a battered blue station wagon pulls up next to a Lexus. A tall blond man gets out of the driver’s side of the station wagon; a ten-year-old girl with a fluffy pink coat runs out of the passenger’s side. She runs to the Lexus and opens up the passenger’s side. And I realize, “An exchange is being made.”
The tall man hits his baseball cap, talking in a friendly manner to the lady in the Lexus.
I wonder what the story is. Is it a divorce situation? If so, the woman has certainly moved on to a better life. Were they ever married at all? Whatever, the exchange is brief, lasting less than a minute.
Two teen-age boys in a gold Chrysler pull into the spot. The driver pulls up next to me, then backs up, sticking out his floppy red tongue as he shifts into reverse, and keeping it jutting out until he moves into position, reminding me of a dog on a Sunday drive.
For Tiger, apparently, “Pd” is the English equivalent of the sound you make when you use your tongue to make a farting noise.
“I am what the religious right would call a cafeteria Christian—I select the parts I like and ignore the others. I sort of feel that God wants you to select. I guess this is what I believe no matter how unlikely it seems that there really is a God.” John Ashberry
I think that I like the concept of John Ashberry more than I actually like his poetry. I like the way he talks about the arts. I like the way he lives his life, and organizes his house. But his poetry, to me, is far too opaque for my didactic little mind. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy saying things slant, but also, I enjoy saying things. To have to parse through spaghetti-like strands for art that doesn’t have a point but a feeling distresses me.